The Mothering Project/Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe in Winnipeg, Manitoba

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Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe (The Mothering Project), located at Mount Carmel Clinic in Winnipeg’s North End, provides prenatal care, parenting and child development support, group programming, advocacy, and addiction support for vulnerable pregnant women and new mothers.

CBC News interviewed Stephanie Wesley and Margaret Bryans about the program earlier this week. Bryans, a nurse and program manager at Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe, discusses the successes of the program since it first opened two years ago. The article focuses on the importance of supportive relationships and the value of a ‘focus on kindness’: “Women who are pregnant, who are using drugs and alcohol are one of the most stigmatized groups in our community.” (The Mothering Project aims to break cycle of addiction, CBC News, April 28, 2015).

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The program is a wonderful example of a integrated and holistic pregnancy program for women with addiction and related concerns. The program is based on principles of harm reduction. (Learn more about harm reduction and similar programs in this booklet, Harm Reduction and Pregnancy: Community-based Approaches to Prenatal Substance Use in Western Canada).

Since the program opened two years ago, 49 women have participated. Early evaluation findings show that, at the beginning of the program, 100% of women were actively using substances, 97% had never completed a substance use treatment program and 56% did not have a prenatal health care provider. Over the course of the program, 36% stopped using alcohol and drugs, 47% reduced their use, 39% attended an addiction treatment facility and 100% accessed prenatal care. Over half of mothers have been able to take their babies home with them from the hospital. Check out the infographic below for more.

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Alberta FASD Conference – October 20-21, 2014

The Government of Alberta is hosting the 2014 FASD Conference on October 20-21, 2014 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

The multidisciplinary conference focuses on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder  and its impact on individuals, families, communities and society at large.

The conference will feature keynote speakers, Hayley Wickenheiser, Michael Kendrick, Peter Choate and Drew Dudley, and over 30 breakout sessions discussing the latest practices in FASD prevention, assessment and support.

This conference will be of interest to: caregivers and families, individuals with FASD, teachers, teacher aides, social workers, nurses, speech language pathologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, physicians, alcohol and drug workers, mental health workers, community workers, family support workers, program providers, vocational rehab service providers, elected officials, government ministries, lawyers and policy-makers.

Registration is now open.

2014 Alberta FASD Conference